Angelina Fosbinder named ITF Wheelchair Tennis Junior of the Year
American junior wheelchair tennis player Angelina 'Gaila' Fosbinder has been honored by the International Tennis Federation as its female Wheelchair Tennis Junior of the Year.
First presented in 2020, the award, given to a junior boy and girl, recognizes young wheelchair tennis players for both on-court results and off-court displays of leadership and sportsmanship.
The 18-year-old Fosbinder, born in Ukraine but adopted and raised in Charlotte, N.C., made her debut for the U.S. junior national team this summer at the BNP Paribas World Team Cup in Sardinia, where the U.S. competed with a junior team for the first time in four years. The squad received the Team of the Year award at the close of the event.
Fosbinder was honored alongside Japan's Tokito Oda, who became the sport’s youngest world No. 1 boy in the Cruyff Foundation Junior Wheelchair Tennis Rankings at the age of 14 in April. The pair were selected from a shortlist that was provided to the ITF Wheelchair Tennis Committee earlier this year.
A senior at Myers Park High School in Charlotte, Fosbinder reached a career-high junior ranking of world No. 10 in June and ended the season ranked world No. 27. In 2019, the then-16-year-old was also named one of the 17 inaugural Net Generation Aces, ambassadors for youth tennis from each of the USTA's 17 sections, that launched at the 2019 US Open.
Born with arthrogryposis, a condition which affects the joints and their range of motion, Fosbinder started tennis at age 8 and plays in a power wheelchair. She is one of four American juniors who currently holds an international ranking and has been mentored by former Paralympic gold medalist and Grand Slam champion Nick Taylor, who has the same disability.